International Trade and Sustainable Development: Economic, Historical and Moral Arguments for Asymmetric Global Trade, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

International Trade and Sustainable Development

Economic, Historical and Moral Arguments for Asymmetric Global Trade, 1st Edition

By Bob Milward


224 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367146733
pub: 2019-12-18
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The contemporary orthodox view of world trade has centred, generally unchallenged, on the ideas of free trade, based on the theoretical construct of comparative advantage. This book engages in a critique of the orthodox position based on the underlying theoretical economic construct, the historical development of the now developed economies and the morally unsustainable position of the free trade regime. The author examines alternatives such as, Most Favoured Nation and Preferential Trading Agreements before making the argument in favour of Asymmetric Trading, where the underdeveloped economies can develop behind tariff barriers and quotas, whilst the triadic nations maintain a lack of barriers to the exports of these economies. He outlines how such a trading regime would be mutually beneficial in the long-term, in the sense that development through industrialisation takes place and the increase in GDP per capita would allow markets for exports to be sustainable, thus widening the market for the goods and services of the developed economies. However, free trade, actually increases the development gap by maintaining the status quo in terms of the underdeveloped economies specialising in, and exporting low value-added primary products and importing high value-added manufactures.

The book analyses contemporary and historical data to illustrate how an alternative trading regime can be truly advantageous to both the developed and underdeveloped regions of the world: a global trading regime that is capable of increasing GDP in a sustainable manner, without transferring a surplus from the poor to the rich nations, and without a long-term commitment on the part of the developed nations to altruism.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.

2. The Theory of Free Trade.

3. A Critique of the Theories of Free Trade.

4. Historical Arguments Against Free Trade.

5. The Moral Arguments for an Alternative Global Trading Regime.

6. The Inadequacy of Preferential Trading Agreements.

7. Contemporary Protectionism and its Effect on Underdeveloped Economies.

8. The Developmental State and Infant Industry Protection.

9. The Theory of Unequal Exchange.

10. Asymmetric Trade Explained.

11. The Global Benefits of Asymmetric Trading.

12. Conclusions

About the Author

Bob Milward is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy

In an increasingly interdependent world, many of the most important issues are driven by economic forces. This series applies newly developed economic techniques to some of the most pressing contemporary problems. The aim of the series is to demonstrate the relevance of modern economic theory to the modern world economy, and to provide key reading for researchers and policy-makers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic Conditions
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Exports & Imports
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Free Enterprise
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business